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'Chicago Fire' Kicks Off Season With 'Simulated Blaze' in Ukrainian Village

By Alisa Hauser | July 24, 2013 6:40am
 The NBC drama "Chicago Fire" is scheduled to begin filming in Ukrainian Village Wednesday afternoon.
The NBC drama "Chicago Fire" is scheduled to begin filming in Ukrainian Village Wednesday afternoon.
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Flickr/Rane M

UKRAINIAN VILLAGE — Lights, camera, fire.

NBC's drama "Chicago Fire" has chosen a stretch of street in Ukrainian Village's historic landmark district to stage a "simulated fire" for the first episode of its second season, sources said.

Filming is scheduled for Wednesday afternoon in the 2200 block of West Thomas Street near Oakley Boulevard and Thomas Street. 

Location manager John Quilico said that the episode will include a simulated fire scene.

Quilico said residents were notified of the filming via leaflets and flyers posted on doors and street poles. 

"They especially need to be notified when there's a fire scene. There will be all kinds of fire equipment. We want to make it look exactly like a fire," Quilico said.

As a result of the filming, parking will not be allowed on Oakley between Division Street and Thomas or on the 2200 block of West Thomas.

Additionally, parking is banned in the 2200 block of West Haddon Avenue, a street that runs behind St. Mary's Hospital at 2233 W. Division St.

Initially, signs posted at several Division Street businesses Monday and early Tuesday indicated that an entire swath of the busy street from Damen Avenue to Leavitt Street would be closed for filming from 8 p.m. Wednesday to 6 a.m. Thursday.

The total street closure would have affected many popular bars and restaurants late Wednesday night.

"We may go back at some point, [but it] didn't work out with the schedule," Quilico said of the change in plans.

A popular series with 6 million weekly viewers, "Chicago Fire" was picked up for a second season in May and joins five other television series and two blockbuster movies that are filming in Chicago.

In all, the summer filming is expected to bring at least $184 million into the local economy through jobs and local development.

NBC ordered 22 episodes of "Chicago Fire" using "a good portion of crew, about 85 percent" local people, Quilico said.

Quilico said the first episode will film until mid-August and the next 12 will film until late December. After a two-week hiatus, the crews will be back in January and film through mid-April for the last nine episodes.  

Quilico said there will be "some reoccurring neighborhoods" used in the filming but was unable to elaborate on which neighborhoods would become mainstays through the season.

In its first season, "Chicago Fire" filmed several episodes in Bucktown at Lottie's Pub, 1925 W. Cortland St.